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Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee (DAAC)

2007 Joint Land Stewardship Workshop

On Saturday, March 31, 2007 a workshop entitled “Increasing Your Farm’s Productivity through Environmental Improvements” was held at the Latcham Centre in Port Perry, with the support of the Township of Scugog.

The purpose of the workshop was to provide information to local farmers on the professional and economic support programs available to assist with implementing agricultural Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) and Environmental Farm Plans.

Representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Ontario Soil and Crop Association (OSCA), Durham Land Stewardship Council (DLSC), Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) and Durham Well Wise, as well as local farmers made presentations to over 90 participants.

The workshop was structured around five main issue areas:

  • Environmental Farm Plans (EFP): The OSCA and OMAFRA provided an overview of the EFP program. EFPs assess environmentally effective approaches to farm practices. Environmental cost-share programs are available to assist farmers in implementing projects identified in an EFP.

  • Beneficial Management Practices (BMP): OMAFRA provided an overview of the various BMP handbooks available from the Province (free of charge to farmers), including the Streamside Grazing BMP, the Nutrient Management Planning BMP and the Manure Management BMP.

  • Environmental cost share opportunities: The DLSC provided an overview of various environmental cost share programs that are available to farmers, such as those offered through the Greenbelt Foundation, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and Greencover Canada.

  • Well water management: CLOCA and Durham Well Wise provided information on the importance of well maintenance and management, as well as the Durham Region Well De-commissioning Program. The Region’s well de-commissioning program, which is supported by the Conservation Authorities, targets privately owned domestic wells within the Region’s municipal wellhead protection areas. Additional programs are being developed and delivered by the Conservation Authorities for well upgrading or decommissioning outside of a municipal wellhead area.

  • Farmer’s experiences: Two local farmers spoke of their experience with developing and implementing EFPs and BMPs.